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SALT (2010)

>> Friday, August 13, 2010

Coming soon - 'Salt 2: Salt and Pepper' (seriously, give it a couple years)

Angelina Jolie is “Russian” to kick some ass in Salt, an action upon action fun time that in the end just doesn’t deliver.

Evelyn Salt (Jolie) is your everyday woman who just happens to work for the CIA. She has a husband who collects and studies spiders, and a dog to fill in for the children they probably don’t have because they are too busy. All is glorious and dandy with Salt until one day a Russian man walks into the CIA and outs our lovely heroine as being a secret Soviet spy out to kill the Russian president who is in the US attending the US Vice President’s funeral because he… yeah, I didn’t really follow it. When it comes to an action movie like Salt though, the modus operandi behind the kill apparently doesn’t mean as much as how death defying Salt can be or how big an explosion she can cause.

To stop Salt and her inexplicable gain of Spider-Man like powers (due to perhaps a spider bite from one of her hubby’s subjects?) her boss and long time friend Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) steps up and takes an abrasive approach to trying to understand why Salt is running from them. After all, they just want to ‘talk’ to her, right?

Beyond that you get a lot of explosions and death-defying stunts and chases followed by running followed by a little Russian speak to authenticate things. Don’t get me wrong though, all of this was really fun to watch and you kind of sit back in awe of a lot of it. Could any of it happen in real life? Undoubtedly - but that’s not what causes my dislike for this movie.

What I didn’t like about Salt is at the end (and not because of the twist ending alone) I kind of felt like “So what?” Salt felt like a movie I had seen before. It went through the same usual formula that revealed a little about the character and their inexplicable ways of seeing into the future and knowing that no matter what, they will find the resources they need to MacGyver themselves out of a sticky situation. Neat, yeah – clever, no. By the time the credits roll you’re left with room for a sequel of course, but does it really matter? With Salt I wanted something more tangible and mysterious like The Bourne Identity, where you could really feel the action, no need for wire work and whatnot there. Salt felt more like a video game I would play than a movie I would watch.

With so many clever and well-made movies out there this summer, this felt like a summer blockbuster yes, but just fell short of being acceptable. This could be a good thing though. It seems people at the top that make the movies we watch are starting to realize that your everyday movies that thrived in the 90’s just won’t do anymore. Remakes with flashier CG and updated scenery just won’t do anymore. Movies themselves have gotten better and more and more popular and it seems that, huh, maybe a well thought out story is actually an important thing we need more of. Salt gets a closed door. Not because it’s not entertaining, but because it’s a mash-up of a lot of stuff we’ve seen before. I’m actually a little in’salt’ed (you knew it was coming).

*Stills courtesy of Columbia Pictures


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